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Eos is after her wings and Kenner’s mate, Como, holds the key to finding them.



Como brings his dreams to life on canvas. His art has mentally protected him most of his life and now Kenner wants to take over that job. How can Como open up and explain everything to his mate when he doesn’t understand most of it himself? Como knows he must try, but fear has always ruled him and right now he feared losing Kenner before he could even claim him.



Kenner knew Como was a gifted artist. However, he also knew he had hidden secrets that if not told could mean both their lives. Kenner needed to gain Como’s trust before it was too late, because if Eos got her hands on those wings it would mean the lives of all Shifters on Haven and around the world.







Art of a Mate

Haven Ranch Book 4



by

Cree Storm



MM, SHIFTERS, PARANORMAL, AND SCENES OF VIOLENCE






A Cree Storm Book

www.creestorm.weebly.com








A CREE STORM BOOK



Art of a Mate

Haven Ranch, 4

Copyright © 2018 by Cree Storm


Edited by Ann Attwood


First E-book Publication: July 2018


Cover design by JP Graphic Designs

All cover art and logo copyright © 2018, JP Graphic Designs and Cree Storm


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.


All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.


All characters depicted in sexual acts in this work of fiction are 18 years of age or older.

Dedication


Art comes in many forms.

Sometimes it is a written word, song, or handmade item. Many people do not recognize the value art brings to people in their own lives. This is seen when budgets are cut from bands, dance, choirs, music teachers, and art rooms themselves. People don’t realize that we need art as much as the artist needs to create it. When we look, listen, or feel another’s creation it brings something to each of us. Hope… dreams … fascination … conversation… joy.



Thank you Richard Berwind… thank you for creating this cover… you brought my vision into reality and I will be forever grateful.




Table of Contents



Chapter 1



Chapter 2



Chapter 3



Chapter 4



Chapter 5



Chapter 6



Chapter 7



Chapter 8



Chapter 9



Chapter 10



Chapter 11



Chapter 12



Chapter 13



Chapter 14



Chapter 15



Chapter 16



Chapter 17



Chapter 18



Chapter 19



Also Available by Cree Storm

About the Author

Chapter 1



Kenner pulled up to the main house of Haven Ranch. Gods he loved this place. It was a refuge for not only him, but any shifter or paranormal that chose to come to Haven and honestly, after the war with the humans, they had needed a place to call home. Hell, Kenner remembered the day he had found Haven.

Kenner was at his lowest in life when Mark found him. Kenner had been off fighting to keep his family safe. When the truce was called for and he returned home, it was to find his flock's entire area had been devastated. His family home was completely destroyed as were all the others. No children playing outside or other harpy eagles flying in the air. Absolutely nothing of his life was anywhere to be seen. No mom, dad, sisters, or brothers. No friends or signs of life.

He had shifted and started flying, needing to get as far from his home as he could get. He didn’t pay any attention to what direction he was headed and soon found himself in the middle of a desert. Food and water were something that was a miracle to find, and it reached a point that Kenner had gotten so tired he couldn’t even shift anymore. Kenner didn’t know how long he had struggled in the outer world and when he saw a large metal arched entrance that said, Haven Ranch. Hell, Kenner thought that he was seeing a mirage, until the sound of a truck pulling up had Kenner looking up to see a tall blond man approaching him and asking if he needed help. Kenner didn't know what to say, he couldn't speak. The man introduced himself as Mark Roth. He had kind light brown eyes, and Kenner felt no threat at all from the man.

Mark had helped Kenner stand, promising him that things were going to be alright. Kenner didn't know why he had allowed the man to put him in his car, but he did. Mark told him about Haven Ranch and explained that it was a refuge for those like Kenner. He talked about his plans to rebuild their world and help others just like Kenner. Every word the man spoke gave Kenner hope and after losing his entire world, hope was more than he had since walking into his town.

Mark had brought Kenner into his home, fed and cared for him until Kenner was healthy enough to make it on his own. He and Mark had talked every night. Kenner even found himself telling Mark about how he had been fighting in the war and what he found when he finally was able to go home. Mark also opened up about his mates and their deaths as well as his dreams for what Haven Ranch would become to all shifters. Kenner wanted to be part of that dream but had no idea what he could do to help.

The day came when Mark had walked up to him and asked him to help keep an eye of the people in Haven. He wanted Kenner to be the new Sherriff of Haven. That even though they were a refuge, law and order had to be maintained with the number of paranormals that would soon be arriving. Kenner didn't hesitate to agree. Mark placed a gold star on his shirt, saying, "Welcome to Haven Ranch, Sherriff."

Kenner had worn that star ever since and had no plans to stop doing so, even though Mark was now with the Gods and his sons had been brought to the ranch to take his place, Kenner still worked his hardest to make sure that everyone on these lands was safe and cared for. He knew every paranormal in town and even many outside the town areas. However, he was also discovering that Mark had kept some things to himself. Sovereignty Island and the Highlands were two such locations he had never even heard about. Kenner didn’t understand why Mark didn’t trust him enough to tell him about these locations, or the fact that he had three biological sons in the outer world, and it had Kenner wondering what else the man might have kept from him.

Kenner would be a liar if he didn't say that he had reservations about the three young men. Mark had never spoken to anyone about them and none of the three had any actual experience in running a ranch let alone a refuge. However, since meeting Midnight, Sky, and Rey, Kenner learned that sometimes fresh eyes were what was needed in order to help things along.

The brothers were kind, thoughtful, and had done many things to help the residents of Haven. Sky, crazy as a loon though he might have been, was a genius when it came to crop building. When many of the fields were destroyed by someone saturating them with high levels of salt, Sky came in and created an irrigation system that funneled into a large man-made pond. He then found ways to grow crops in the fields that had been spoiled. What fields that used to grow cabbage, corn, potatoes and other such crops, were now growing kochia for landscaping, sweet beets, spinach and other things that could tolerate the current land conditions. Farms were flourishing and what could have been a catastrophe was now fixed and thriving once again and it didn’t hurt that the man was a trained chef. Kenner enjoyed many meals the man had cooked and looked forward to many more.

Midnight was beyond brilliant. Unlike his brother Sky, Midnight was low key and a thinker. He was terrified that he was put in charge of running Haven Ranch, but the man was brilliant. Midnight had found distributors for their crops and was helping the people of Haven Ranch open businesses and even created a school many could attend by computer or in person to help them learn a trade and make something of themselves. Then there was Rey.

Rey was a bit harder to get to know. He was shy and often stayed in the background and allowed his brothers to run Haven. However, Rey was a fully-fledged Vet and doctor to the town. He would go around Haven and care for the ranches that made up Haven’s food source. Rey was providing some much needed healthcare to those who needed it as well. Kenner saw the longer the brothers were in Haven, the more Rey was coming out of that shell, and at times, could give Sky a run for his money on quick comebacks.

Any reservations Kenner may have had, were long gone since the brothers came to Haven. They were all mated to some great men who had been part of Haven for a very long time, and Kenner saw firsthand there was nothing any of this family wouldn’t do to help the people of Haven.

Haven had been a refuge for his kind, but now it was even more than that. Since these guys came on board, it had become a place to call home. Who would have thought that two chipmunks and a red panda could have changed their lives so much in such a short period of time?

"Hey Kenner! Wait up!" Sky yelled, rushing up to where Kenner stood bringing him back to the here and now.

"Hello there, Sky. How is the bride feeling today?" Kenner asked with a laugh.

Sky had mated with Hardy and Emry. No one thought that the three men would ever get together as fate had decreed. Hell, there were bets going against them. However, when Selene stepped in and tossed their arguing asses to the highest mountain spot to fend for themselves, the three men came back, mated, and loving each other as much as Rey and Midnight did with their own mates.

"Very funny, you asshat. I hate that you can't come to the wedding, Kenner." Sky said with a pout.

Smiling, Kenner, replied, "It's fine, Sky. Law asked me to watch over things while he's gone. It's an honor when the Alpha thinks highly enough of you to do that."

"I guess, but it's going to really be sad for you. I mean I am going to look kick ass in my wedding outfit and my men will be almost as good looking." Sky said with pride, walking up the stairs leading to the house.

"I have no doubt that Emry and Hardy are going to fawn all over you when they see you." Kenner said with a large smile, opening the door to go inside.

"Maybe so, but they are going to do far more than fawn on me after the wedding, when they get a gander at what I'm wearing underneath my wedding attire." Sky giggled as he wiggled his brows.

Kenner laughed, then said, "I really am happy for you guys, Sky. I know that Law and the others are a bit confused as to why you want a wedding, when a mating is the same thing in the shifter world. They don't always remember you weren't raised as a chipmunk shifter. You were raised in the human world and they do things very differently."

"Thank you, Kenner. I mean I know that Emry and Hardy are my mates, and I love them more than my next breath. I just want to really make them mine, in every way I can." Sky said with a sigh.

"Did you get rings? Emry said that you guys were doing something really special in that area. It must be nice that Selene made it to where you guys can shift and not be naked anymore. I really wish I had that opportunity. If I try to shift into my harpy eagle, too fast, I get tangled up in my clothes. It really sucks." Kenner said with envy.

Sky thought for a moment, saying, "I could always ask her to help you out with that, Kenner."

Kenner laughed, "Like she has time for something as trivial as that. I'm good, Sky. Just you worry about not tripping when you walk down the castle stairs."

Sky gave Kenner a fake growl, saying, "I would so kick your ass for that jinxing advice if it wasn't for the fact that I'm getting married outside."

"Sky! Sky! Have you seen my outfit? It isn't in the closet. I know I had it in my closet." Rey exclaimed as he ran down the stairs, tripping on the carpet and falling forward.

Thankfully Kenner was quick on his feet. He leaped forward and caught the red panda shifter before he broke his face on the floor.

Rey steadied himself, saying, "Thanks Kenner. I would hate to have to go to Sky's wedding with a broken nose and two black eyes."

"Me too. Then everyone would be staring at you and to hell with the main event." Sky grumbled.

Rey rolled his eyes, "Whatever. Seriously though, have you seen my wedding attire? It's missing."

Shaking his head, Sky replied, "No, it isn't missing, Rey. I took it out and sent it ahead with the decorations and all the food."

Rey glowered at Sky, "And it didn't cross your mind to maybe mention that little detail? I yelled at Winter and Dustin for almost an hour."

Sky shrugged off Rey's anger, "Trust me. I piss my mates off all the time. Make up sex is the best sex you can have."

"I like sex with my mates already." Rey grumbled.

"Talk to me after you go up there and beg for forgiveness." Sky said with a snicker.

"Kenner? Kenner is that you? Thank the Gods. We have a thief in the house." Midnight said anxiously as he made his way down the stairs.

Kenner went into instant cop mode, "A thief? What was taken?"

Midnight tossed his hands in the air rushing to say, "My tux! Someone took it right out of my──"

"Sky took your tux." Rey grumbled.

Midnight stopped moving and bouncing, turning to Rey, "What do you mean Sky took my tux? Why would Sky steal my tux? He has his own outfit to wear."

Sighing, Sky replied, "I didn't steal your tux, I sent it to Sovereignty Island with mine, Rey's and all the decorations. That way it's already there when we arrive for the wedding."

Midnight glared at Sky, "And you couldn't think to let me know? I have Law and Shaw out there with the guards hunting down a nonexistent thief!"

"I thought I told you guys. I guess with everything going on, it slipped my mind." Sky said.

Midnight rolled his eyes, walked to the front door, saying, "You have to have one for something to slip from first." Opening the door, Midnight smiled at the tall guard at his door, "Conley, can you find my mates and tell him the hunt is over?"

"Yes sir." Conley replied, and quickly started down the stairs.

Midnight yelled out, "How many times do I have to tell you to call me Midnight, not sir?"

"Sorry si──Midnight." Conley yelled back, rushing off to find Law and Shaw.

Kenner loved these three. They made him laugh and feel accepted like he had never felt before. He really wished he'd be able to see Sky get married, but knew that the safety of Haven Ranch was being entrusted to him and he didn't take that responsibility lightly. After finding out about the threat from Eos, Haven was on high alert.

"I still wish there was a way for you to come to the wedding, Kenner. It won't be the same without you." Sky said once more.

"He could always watch it live with Como." Rey suggested.

At the mention of the sun bear, Kenner felt his heart pitter patter in his chest. This seemed to happen whenever he heard the man's name or was lucky enough to catch sight of him when he was in the loft or on rare occasions, out in the fields drawing. Kenner had tried approaching the man, but he would take off before Kenner could get a hundred yards from him and damn it, Kenner had the need to get close to Como.

Como was just Kenner's type. He was just a few inches shorter than Kenner's own six feet and had the most beautiful blond hair that sparkled gold in the sun. Kenner wanted to see if his eyes were as amazing as the rest of him.

Kenner knew that the man's life must have been tragic. Rey hadn't even known that Como was a shifter. He was one of the many zoo animals Rey had cared for and the two had formed a tight bond throughout Rey’s growing up years. Rey had been missing the sun bear he had cared for and had actually talked with Kenner about how the two of them had been so close and Rey looked upon the bear as more a friend than an animal. His mates, Winter and Dustin, had decided to surprise Rey and brought Como to Haven Ranch. It was then that his mates scented Como for what he was and ordered him to shift. Rey was shocked. Como was terrified and soon shifted back into his bear form. It had taken weeks for Rey to get the poor man to stop living as a sun bear.

Como still refused to come into the main house to live. He preferred the barn and living in the loft. Kenner suspected it had something to do with his art work, even more so than comfort. He wasn't sure, but he really wanted to find out. Hell, he wanted to find out as much about the man as he could. There was just something about Como that called to Kenner.

"Como still won't leave the area?" Sky asked with a slightly sad tone.

Rey shook his head, "No. He's still not telling me what's wrong. I've tried to get him to talk to me, but he just says that he needs some time."

"For a sun bear, he sure doesn't like to be in it much." Sky muttered.

Rey pursed his lips saying, "Sky, you need to put yourself in his place. The man was trapped in a zoo for years. He was forced to stay in his shifted form and it took me weeks to get him to trust us enough to know he could shift into his human self and walk around Haven without anyone trying to harm him. Besides, sun bears are typically shy in nature, so add all the other crap and this transition is not as easy as it was for you, me, and Midnight."

"Easy? Rey, have you been paying attention to all the shit going on at Haven Ranch? I mean we find out our father was working with Goddess Selene to save the shifter and paranormal world, and now somehow, we are supposed to be the ones to make that happen. Damu, who we thought was the guy behind it all, is actually trying to help us and it's Selene's bitch sister who is working with our grandfather trying to take out Haven Ranch. We have all damn near died more than once, and you say our transition was easy?"

Midnight got all dreamy eyed, saying, "But we have wonderful mates as a result."

Rey gave a sharp nod, replying, "Like the saying goes. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade."

"I'd rather freeze the damn things and throw the fuckers at the next person who sells the lemonade." Sky murmured.

Rey rolled his eyes, "Sky, just be patient with Como. He has come a long way since he got here."

"I am being patient with the man. It's just he won't talk to anyone but you and Hardy." Sky argued.

"Well, you scare the crap out of him. Try being nicer and maybe he will come around. At least he is enjoying his new hobby." Midnight replied.

"Hobby?" Kenner asked.

Rey smiled nodding rapidly, "Oh yes. Como is a wonderful artist. He is absolutely amazing. I am trying to convince him to allow me to set up a viewing at the Haven Ranch Community Center. He's still thinking about it. However, I did get him to promise that he will come to my office and watch the wedding live. I left the steps to everything he needs to do in order to be there by computer, but Kenner, it might be really helpful if you could help him out."

Smiling Kenner replied, "Oh his art work. As much as he is always drawing, I thought it was more than just a hobby. Did you say you got him to agree to come to the house when I'm here?"

Rey turned away looking guilty, "I kinda didn't tell him you would be here when he came inside."

Kenner smiled, "As much as I think he has a right to know, I’m kinda glad you didn’t. I really would like to get to know him better. And, I'll make him as comfortable as I can. This will give me the opportunity to get him to come near me as well as see the wedding.”

Rey looked at Kenner in confusion, "I don't understand, if you haven't met Como then how does he have──"

A soft knock at the door interrupted what Rey was about to say. Midnight opened the door, saying, "Kenner you might be getting that chance to meet the man in question sooner than you thought."




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